The Rajah's Casket A lush moorish or turkic-inspired set design & gorgeous costumes makes The Rajah's Casket a visual thrill. Sundry characters gather before the young rajah, presenting him with gifts, including a casket or treasure chest which is soon stolen by means of magic.
A fakir is brought forth who does some sword & fire magic to help uncover the culprit who stole the treasure chest. The fakir leads the Rajah to a room with an enormous window, through which a horned djinn is seen flying by on a smoke-billowing wyvern, clutching the stolen casket.
Investigating through a forboding ruin, the fakir & the rajah come upon the djinn's cavern. The rajah draws his sword & destroys the djinn. In the next chamber of the cavern they find the treasure chest, from which arises a beautiful queen dressed in gold & six dancing girls in green. They put on quite a colorful performance, showing a lot of thigh from under their long dresses.
The treasure chest is brought to the rajah's palace where the rajah is enthroned with the queen, the maidens dance joyfully, & the vizier discovers the chest also has jewels within.
Hand colored by the Pathé stencil set method, The Rajah's Casket (L'Ecrin du Rajah or L'Ecrin du Radjah, 1906) was a French/Italian production and can be found on volume one of Retour de Flamme from Lobster Films in France.
The Rajah's Casket is also the first film in an on-line collection called Collected Works of Segundo de Chomón. Not everything in the string of videos is by Chomón, & this one is properly credited as directed by Gaston Velle, but written, photographed, & with special FX by Chomón means he should be regarded as co-director.
The Rajah's CasketBoth Gaston Velle & Segundo de Chomón worked hard under the influence of Georges Melies. Velle on his own tended to be a weak imitator of Melies. Chomón on the other hand often added something of his own so that his Melies-esque films were of a higher quality. And when he lent his skills as an FX engineer & director of photography to Velles films, they were both pushed to finer heights.
July 5, 2018 Subject:
I have always been fascinated by the intricate and subtle mystical Musings of Maghrebian Goetic Magicians, which have continued to influence great figures across Europe: throughout the Renaissance, into the late 19th century, and the Modern Era. This is clearly demonstrated in this Motion Picture, and indeed also in others; the Modern Observer is naturally struck by the beauty of this foreign, yet oddly familiar world of fantasy. A true celebration of culture and a plot that would serve for an Oscar-winning film had it been made by the successors of Segundo de Chomon and George Melies.
I Am Gen X -
April 22, 2011 Subject:
Thank you for watching the videos I upload. I feel they are pieces of Cinema History and I am happy to contribute. I hope you enjoy them. - Gen :)